View Full Version : C188 Work in Fishing convention to become EU law

Davie Tait
14th October 2016, 17:17

The Social Partners’ Agreement becomes an EU Directive, paving the way towards decent work in the fishing sector as the Council of the EU has approved a Directive regulating working conditions in the fisheries sector.

This follows a long-standing request from the EU Social Partners (the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), Europêche and Cogeca).

In 2012, these European organisations reached a pivotal agreement within the Social Dialogue Committee for Sea Fisheries (SSDC-F) on a text which would transpose the ILO Work in Fishing Convention 2007 (C188) into EU Law. Since then, the Social Partners have been urging the EU institutions to implement the agreement through a Directive whose aim is to ensure better working conditions for more than 150,000 fishermen in Europe regardless of the size of the vessel.

‘The road that led to today’s decision of the EPSCO Council was long and full of obstacles,’ said ETF’s representative and SSDC-F Vice-chair Flemming Smidt. ‘We, the ETF and Europêche, have invested huge resources, first in negotiating the agreement and then in promoting it. We did it because we firmly believe that the EU and its Member States need to take the lead towards a more socially sustainable fishing sector at global level. Europe is one of the biggest markets for fish and seafood, and Europeans should not only eat fish that is caught in an environmentally sustainable way but also by fishermen that are offered decent working and living conditions.’

Ment van der Zwan, Europêche’s representative and SSDC-F spokesperson, welcomed the decision.

‘Today’s decision is a milestone on the path towards better working conditions in fisheries,’ he stated. ‘After having strongly criticised the delays for the presentation of our agreement to the Council, we wish to acknowledge the commitment and joint efforts made by DG Employment, as well as the Dutch and the Slovak Presidencies of the EU to make today’s political agreement possible. We are aware this is a first step and we won’t stop urging EU Member States to commit towards the ratification of C188.’

Source: Europêche